JACKSONVILLE – In a weekly feature for the 2021 season, NFL Media and Jaguars Media analyst Bucky Brooks breaks down the Jaguars' performance in a 37-19 loss to the Tennessee Titans in a 2021 Week 5 game at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville…
The Jaguars were outclassed by their AFC South rivals in a game closer than the final score indicates. Jaguars Head Coach Urban Meyer's squad played with great energy and effort, but the performance was undermined by costly mistakes on both sides of the ball. The Jaguars gave up a scoop-and-score touchdown to the Titans on the game's opening drive. In addition, the team had a pair of special teams miscues (missed extra point and field goal) that put the Jaguars behind the eight ball early in the game. Considering the team's small margin for error in these games against top teams, the combination of turnovers and special teams blunders were too much to overcome.
KEYS TO VICTORY
The Jaguars' inability to finish drives and generate stops continues to torpedo their chances of winning. The trend of failing to convert fourth-and-goal situations continues to haunt the team as the Jaguars were unable to put up points when they reached the tight red zone. On the flip side, the defense could not slow Titans running back Derrick Henry when it mattered. The heavyweight runner plowed through the heart of the defense in critical moments. The defense being unable to get off the field on third down routinely leads to losses and the Jaguars took another "L" due to their failed execution.
Despite the Jaguars' record and inconsistent offense, rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the real deal and Duval County should be excited about his potential. The rookie completed 23 of 33 passes for 273 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The efficient effort from Lawrence showcased his playmaking ability inside and outside the pocket. Moreover, the performance featured all the blue-chip traits that coaches love in QB1s. That said, Lawrence needs to continue to work on getting the ball out of his hands quickly to avoid sacks. The Jaguars struggle to overcome negative plays and the rookie must remain cognizant of that fact going forward. Overall, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft is making incremental progress as a franchise quarterback and the team should be encouraged by his work between the lines.
UNDER THE RADAR
Jaguars running back James Robinson is too good to be considered an under-the-radar prospect, but the second-year player deserves a mention after putting up 149 rushing yards on 18 carries against the Titans. The workmanlike effort continues to cement his status as a blue-chip player and a foundational piece of the Jaguars' rebuilding efforts.
The Jaguars' offense piles up impressive yardage, but the unit's effort is undermined by their red-zone woes. The offense failed to convert a fourth-and-goal attempt that would have given the unit a shot in the arm. It is the second time in two weeks the Jaguars were unable to cash in a scoring chance that would have given the team momentum and confidence. With another failure on the books, questions will start to persist on why the team has not given the ball to its best runner (Robinson) in those situations. Moreover, the play selection has left something to be desired when reviewing if the best players are getting the ball and on plays that are ideally suited to their talents.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen is attempting to implement an aggressive scheme that does not quite fit the defense's talent. While a rebuilding effort takes time to match the personnel with the scheme, the Jaguars are not ready for the blitz-heavy tactics and man coverage the grizzled defensive coordinator is running. The personnel limitations show up in key moments with the defensive backs failing to maintain close coverage and the blitzes snuffed out at the line of scrimmage. Against the Titans, the Jaguars' high-pressure approach failed to limit Henry, particularly in the second half. The back-to-back rushing champ topped the 100-yard mark and scored three times while helping the Titans build an insurmountable lead in the second half.
The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Tennessee Titans for the Week 5 matchup at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.